Stephen Bannon pleaded not guilty this week to Contempt of Congress. On Thursday, his lawyers agreed to a court-appointed date of December 7 to file papers and schedule the trial. Bannon has pleaded executive privilege, but it doesn’t really matter: Bannon is determined to be tried (he waved arrangement) and would likely be delighted to be found guilty and sentenced to prison for several months.
That is because like Hitler, he sees being in jail as a rallying cry for more Trumpism and more chaos to facilitate the destruction of the Dems and to fan the embers further to, as he has stated, “dismantle the administrative state.” Chaos and martyrdom are key to his performative theatrics (ironic from a guy that only escaped jail thus far for embezzlement due to a pardon from Trump).
Although it makes many progressives squeamish, it is an apt comparison to note that Hitler wrote “Mein Kampf” from a prison cell in 1924 after attempting an ill-fated coup to overturn the German post-World-War I Weimar Republic. Hitler had bellowed that the Weimar Republic was full of individuals who had “stabbed Germany in the Back” during WW II, including Jews, Communists, Jews, Gays and other “others.”
Don’t rule out that Bannon may write his own version of “Mein Kampf” as a book for Trump cultists to rally around and to inspire others.
The events surrounding this period, early on in the eventual “legal” Nazi overthrow of the Weimar government, are known in English as the “Beer Hall Putsch.”
According to Wikipedia,
The putsch brought Hitler to the attention of the German nation for the first time and generated front-page headlines in newspapers around the world. His arrest was followed by a 24-day trial, which was widely publicized and gave him a platform to express his nationalist sentiments to the nation. Hitler was found guilty of treason and sentenced to five years in Landsberg Prison,[note 2] where he dictated Mein Kampf to fellow prisoners Emil Maurice and Rudolf Hess. On 20 December 1924, having served only nine months, Hitler was released. Once released, Hitler redirected his focus towards obtaining power through legal means rather than by revolution or force, and accordingly changed his tactics, further developing Nazi propaganda.
That strategy is similar to Trump and those who might replace him as dictators, working now to ensure that Republicans can choose the president and other elected officials “legally,” by creating laws that allow for the suppression of the majority rule.
To compare the Nazis to Trumpism and its key strategists, including Bannon, is perfectly legitimate in regards to creating a psychotic national cult that accepted and cheered on the horrors of the Third Reich. That is not to say that Trumpism would eventually lead to a Holocaust, but it is historical evidence about how a population with grievances could be molded to regard “the other” as a mortal enemy. It took Hitler 18 years to groom the Germans into accepting his appointment as chancellor in 1933 and complete authoritarian control of the government as a result of the likely false flag Reichstag Fire.
What Bannon sees from pleading not guilty and engaging in a political trial, followed by diatribes from prison is two-fold: fodder for the cult of Trumpian conspiracy and the denial of his testimony before Congress. Remember if Bannon goes to jail for a few months, he will be freed and not need to appear before the Select House Committee. This will leave a significant hole in the January 6 investigation.
And don’t rule out that Bannon may write his own version of “Mein Kampf” as a book for Trump cultists to rally around and to inspire others.
No, Bannon going to prison won’t be a victory for the cause of democracy. He is likely to create the chaos that he craves and undermine the Republic.